DeLabs, the startup behind top Solana NFT collections DeGods and y00ts, has revealed that it received a $3 million grant to move y00ts to the Ethereum sidechain Polygon.
According to a statement published on Discord by founder Frank, aka Rohun Vora, DeLabs will put the funds toward hiring efforts and launch a crypto incubator to support its NFT ecosystem.
Y00ts are a spinoff profile picture NFT collection from the DeLabs team, which first found success with its DeGods PFP collection on Solana.
The money seems to come with no strings attached besides the promised move to the new blockchain. Frank said the funds are coming in as a “non-equity grant,” meaning Polygon is not receiving a stake in DeLabs in exchange.
Here is a screenshot of our latest @y00tsNFT Discord announcement. pic.twitter.com/qWxjBsexv6
— Frank III (@frankdegods) January 6, 2023
“DeLabs as a company has been understaffed for a while,” said the DeLabs founder. “Securing extended runway with non-dilutive capital is huge for us, because it means we can be a little less conservative in our monthly burn.”
While Polygon has not yet publicized the y00ts grant sum on its own social channels, the firm is supportive of Frank’s decision.
“Polygon fully supports Frank and the y00ts team’s dedication to transparency and we look forward to all of the projects that will build on Polygon via their launchpad,” a Polygon spokesperson told Decrypt via email.
y00ts will officially bridge to @0xPolygon in Q1 2023. pic.twitter.com/Mnz25dJko1
— y00ts (@y00tsNFT) December 25, 2022
DeLabs’ move away from Solana to Polygon and Ethereum comes just a month after the collapse of FTX. The company’s former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, was a major investor in Solana and various projects building on the network, including the now-defunct decentralized exchange Serum. Bankman-Fried and FTX built Serum, which at its height was the backbone of all DeFi activity on Solana.
SOL is down 6.5% in the past month and down 91% in the past year, per CoinGecko data.
But Polygon wasn’t DeLabs’ only option for y00ts. Frank said that “much larger offers” had been under consideration but that DeLabs chose Polygon for y00ts because “it’s the most exciting direction for y00ts as a project.”
Polygon has secured deals with major brands such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Disney. Frank has teased that y00ts will play a role in those big-brand partnerships on Polygon in the future.